Review Biostar Z690 Valkyrie Review: Capable, but Overpriced

escksu

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Aug 8, 2019
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Crazy price....

Do take note that z690 chipset has 8x dmi 4.0 (equivalent to 8x pcie 4.0). While its double that of amd's x570, you will still run into bottle neck if you populate all the m.2 slots with pcie 4.0 ssd and run raid 0.

Intel's pcie 4.0 m.2 slots run off the chipset.
 

PiranhaTech

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Mar 20, 2021
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I'm very surprised that Biostar is releasing a $600 motherboard under the Biostar name, not creating another brand

I don't mind saying that I had Biostar for project PCs before, and they have been overall reliable. That being said, they have a certain reputation.
 
Nov 21, 2021
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Crazy price....

Do take note that z690 chipset has 8x dmi 4.0 (equivalent to 8x pcie 4.0). While its double that of amd's x570, you will still run into bottle neck if you populate all the m.2 slots with pcie 4.0 ssd and run raid 0.

Intel's pcie 4.0 m.2 slots run off the chipset.
One M.2 works directly on the CPU, the others work on the chipset.
 
One M.2 works directly on the CPU, the others work on the chipset.
Unless you're talking about this particular motherboard wiring, that's not necessarily the case. Intel allows the Z690 chipset to use x8 slpit on the GPU PCIe5 link to feed more NVMe's and other connectivity. That's the chipset's not-so-dirty little secret on how they can provide so many NVMe devices.

So, in other words, depending on how the motherboard vendor decided to make the split, you can have the PCIe5 x16 for the GPU run at x8 speed, which is basically PCIe4 X16 so the other 8 lanes are used for the NVMe/sATA ports in conjuction with the DMI links.

Regards.
 

larkspur

Distinguished
Unless you're talking about this particular motherboard wiring, that's not necessarily the case. Intel allows the Z690 chipset to use x8 slpit on the GPU PCIe5 link to feed more NVMe's and other connectivity. That's the chipset's not-so-dirty little secret on how they can provide so many NVMe devices.

So, in other words, depending on how the motherboard vendor decided to make the split, you can have the PCIe5 x16 for the GPU run at x8 speed, which is basically PCIe4 X16 so the other 8 lanes are used for the NVMe/sATA ports in conjuction with the DMI links.

Regards.
I could certainly be wrong, but that's not how I understand this:
Alder Lake chips expose up to 16 lanes of PCIe 5.0 and an additional four lanes of PCIe 4.0 from the chip for M.2 storage. Those lanes are split into x16 or x8 for GPUs, or x4/x4 for storage slots. PCIe AICs (Add-In Cards) that support PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSDs (which don't exist yet) are already in the works.

Just like Z590, the 14nm Z690 chipset sports 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0, but Intel also added 12 lanes of PCIe 4.0, which is a nice boost to overall connectivity. Intel also doubled the throughput of the DMI connection between the chip and chipset from an x8 DMI 3.0 pipe, which clocks in at 7.88 GB/s, to an x8 DMI 4.0 connection that delivers 15.66 GB/s. This much-needed bandwidth improvement allows for more throughput from attached RAID arrays.
Sounds more like the CPU provides PCIe 5 x16 (or x8 x8) mainly for GPUs and an additional PCIe 4 x4 for m.2 storage. The chipset gets 12 additional lanes of PCIe 4.0 that of course gets shared with its 16 lanes of PCIe 3 over the x8 DMI 4. So a mobo could have one m.2 slot on the x4 4.0 CPU lanes and three x4 4.0 m.2 slots off the chipset (which would be limited by the DMI)
 
I could certainly be wrong, but that's not how I understand this:

<quote>

Sounds more like the CPU provides PCIe 5 x16 (or x8 x8) mainly for GPUs and an additional PCIe 4 x4 for m.2 storage. The chipset gets 12 additional lanes of PCIe 4.0 that of course gets shared with its 16 lanes of PCIe 3 over the x8 DMI 4. So a mobo could have one m.2 slot on the x4 4.0 CPU lanes and three x4 4.0 m.2 slots off the chipset (which would be limited by the DMI)
The key of that quote is here: "Those lanes are split into x16 or x8 for GPUs, or x4/x4 for storage slots". The "x8" split I talk about gets further divided for whatever purpose they want to give it; my take is they're using that on this gen Z690 for the plethora of NVMe drives and sATA ones, unless they're using only the DMI4 link, which implies they'll need to cut something else from transfering (being used) and make just 1 (or 2, tops) NVMe slots full speed as the CPU only exposes 1 x4 PCIe4 for it (them).

As I said, it's up to the motherboard maker how they "divide and conquer". AMD motherboards also have this kind of fine print with more than 1 NVMe drive in it. This chipset can, maybe, get away with 2 NVMe drives from the CPU at full speed without tapping into the PCIe5, but I seriously doubt motherboard makers will include the muxers required to do that, so maybe they're just abusing the DMI link and have only 1 NVMe linked to the CPU.

Here's a good breakdown of the Z690 features and a diagram: https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/intel-z690-chipset-diagram-shows-pcie-5-x16ddr4-or-ddr5-memoryand-dmi-4-x8.html

Regards.
 
Reactions: larkspur
Nov 21, 2021
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The key of that quote is here: "Those lanes are split into x16 or x8 for GPUs, or x4/x4 for storage slots". The "x8" split I talk about gets further divided for whatever purpose they want to give it; my take is they're using that on this gen Z690 for the plethora of NVMe drives and sATA ones, unless they're using only the DMI4 link, which implies they'll need to cut something else from transfering (being used) and make just 1 (or 2, tops) NVMe slots full speed as the CPU only exposes 1 x4 PCIe4 for it (them).

As I said, it's up to the motherboard maker how they "divide and conquer". AMD motherboards also have this kind of fine print with more than 1 NVMe drive in it. This chipset can, maybe, get away with 2 NVMe drives from the CPU at full speed without tapping into the PCIe5, but I seriously doubt motherboard makers will include the muxers required to do that, so maybe they're just abusing the DMI link and have only 1 NVMe linked to the CPU.

Here's a good breakdown of the Z690 features and a diagram: https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/intel-z690-chipset-diagram-shows-pcie-5-x16ddr4-or-ddr5-memoryand-dmi-4-x8.html

Regards.
Check that diagram a bit better and you see that there is a seperate "1x4 lanes PCIe 4.0" on the CPU. This is common knowledge and implemented like this on all motherboards I have seen (probably every motherboard, but I am not about to check every single on of them to be a 100% sure ;) ). My own Gigabyte Z690 UD DDR4 board also has it with the PCIe 16x still available at PCIe 5 and 16 lanes.
 
Check that diagram a bit better and you see that there is a seperate "1x4 lanes PCIe 4.0" on the CPU. This is common knowledge and implemented like this on all motherboards I have seen (probably every motherboard, but I am not about to check every single on of them to be a 100% sure ;) ). My own Gigabyte Z690 UD DDR4 board also has it with the PCIe 16x still available at PCIe 5 and 16 lanes.
That's what I said... The point is when you populate more than 1 NVMe slot, that single PCIe4 link is not going to be used for the 2nd NVMe onwards from what I can tell.

Regards.
 
Nov 21, 2021
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That's what I said... The point is when you populate more than 1 NVMe slot, that single PCIe4 link is not going to be used for the 2nd NVMe onwards from what I can tell.

Regards.
This is what you said:
Unless you're talking about this particular motherboard wiring, that's not necessarily the case. Intel allows the Z690 chipset to use x8 slpit on the GPU PCIe5 link to feed more NVMe's and other connectivity. That's the chipset's not-so-dirty little secret on how they can provide so many NVMe devices.
And this is a 100% wrong. The x8 split that is allowed has nothing to do with NVMe ports.
 
Nov 21, 2021
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The key in what I said is "more". I never implied or explicitly said "all NVMe will use the PCIe5 split". That's your (incorrect) interpretation.

Regards.
The PCIe 5 split doesn't support NVMe at all though, NVMe is always on PCIe 4, so the whole PCIe 5 topic is not relevant when it comes to NVMe. It doesn't support it and it doesn't have an impact on it.
 
The PCIe 5 split doesn't support NVMe at all though, NVMe is always on PCIe 4, so the whole PCIe 5 topic is not relevant when it comes to NVMe. It doesn't support it and it doesn't have an impact on it.
PCIe5 is backwards compatible last time I checked, so what you're saying doesn't make sense to me; plus we're talking about communication links, so don't mix the two concepts. If a motherboard vendor wants to split the x16 PCIe5 link into x8 and x8, one of the x8 links can be used as x16 PCIe4 (and directly feed 4 additional NVMe) and they can use those for whatever they want in order to have the CPU directly tap to them. More NVMe drives and a second GPU make the most sense there to me, but I don't know how cheap it is to do, hence why not even Intel draws a hard line and leaves it up to them. If they don't want to split the PCIe5 links, they can always saturate the DMI and sacrifice other connectivity for those.

Regards.
 
Nov 21, 2021
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PCIe5 is backwards compatible last time I checked, so what you're saying doesn't make sense to me; plus we're talking about communication links, so don't mix the two concepts. If a motherboard vendor wants to split the x16 PCIe5 link into x8 and x8, one of the x8 links can be used as x16 PCIe4 (and directly feed 4 additional NVMe) and they can use those for whatever they want in order to have the CPU directly tap to them. More NVMe drives and a second GPU make the most sense there to me, but I don't know how cheap it is to do, hence why not even Intel draws a hard line and leaves it up to them. If they don't want to split the PCIe5 links, they can always saturate the DMI and sacrifice other connectivity for those.

Regards.
Theoretically there are a lot more things that are possible. The fact of the matter is, PCIe 5 isn't used for NVMe on any Z690 board and all the boards I have seen have one NVMe directly connected to the CPU 1x4 PCIe4 which was the whole topic of the discussion.
 
Theoretically there are a lot more things that are possible. The fact of the matter is, PCIe 5 isn't used for NVMe on any Z690 board and all the boards I have seen have one NVMe directly connected to the CPU 1x4 PCIe4 which was the whole topic of the discussion.
No, that's what you wanted to discuss/argue and not what I was talking about, sorry.

At least, it seems you finally understood the points. I'll stop here.

Regards.
 

Geezer760

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Aug 29, 2009
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Part of the title of this article says: "Capable: but Overpriced" , I didn't know T.H. were capable of knowing or ever using the word "Overpriced" wow!, Most times it's "Just Buy It". like everyone is just Oozing vast amounts of cash out of our wallets.
 

TJ Hooker

Champion
Ambassador
The PCIe 5 split doesn't support NVMe at all though, NVMe is always on PCIe 4, so the whole PCIe 5 topic is not relevant when it comes to NVMe. It doesn't support it and it doesn't have an impact on it.
[...]
fact of the matter is, PCIe 5 isn't used for NVMe on any Z690 board
NVMe works on any PCIe revision. PCIe 5.0 SSDs don't exist yet, but once they do they will be able to be used on alder lake PCIe 5.0 slots.
 
Nov 21, 2021
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NVMe works on any PCIe revision. PCIe 5.0 SSDs don't exist yet, but once they do they will be able to be used on alder lake PCIe 5.0 slots.
Though there are no NVMe slots on any motherboard available now that are connected to PCIe 5.0 lanes slots. Who knows what the future brings, but that is not what we're talking about and is not the original argument. Which was
Intel's pcie 4.0 m.2 slots run off the chipset.
 
Nov 21, 2021
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No, that's what you wanted to discuss/argue and not what I was talking about, sorry.

At least, it seems you finally understood the points. I'll stop here.

Regards.
That wasn't what I wanted to discuss, that was the topic I was responding to. You took it out of context and seemingly started your own conversation.
This was the original argument:
Intel's pcie 4.0 m.2 slots run off the chipset.
 
That wasn't what I wanted to discuss, that was the topic I was responding to. You took it out of context and seemingly started your own conversation.
This was the original argument:

Intel's pcie 4.0 m.2 slots run off the chipset.
As I said, you're the one wanting to talk about it. This is part of what you quoted originally "arguing" about the single PCIe4 x4 link from the CPU:

The "x8" split I talk about gets further divided for whatever purpose they want to give it; my take is they're using that on this gen Z690 for the plethora of NVMe drives and sATA ones, unless they're using only the DMI4 link, which implies they'll need to cut something else from transfering (being used) and make just 1 (or 2, tops) NVMe slots full speed as the CPU only exposes 1 x4 PCIe4 for it (them).

Yes, I was already aware the CPU has a dedicated link to NVMe that can feed 1 or 2 (tops) NVMe drives, so the point was about discussing how the other NVMe are being fed into the system. Motherboard makers have choices on how to do it. Intel doesn't impose any hard rules. The more NVMe slots a motherboard has, the more likely they will tap into the PCIe5 lanes, which is something Intel allows. If they tap into the DMI or PCIe5 or split the single PCIe4 x4 link is up to them. Different alternatives have different implications and costs.

Regards.
 

TJ Hooker

Champion
Ambassador
Though there are no NVMe slots on any motherboard available now that are connected to PCIe 5.0 lanes slots. Who knows what the future brings, but that is not what we're talking about and is not the original argument. Which was
NVMe doesn't care if the PCIe lanes are exposed via PCIe x[#] add-in card (AIC) slot, an M.2 slot, a U.2 connector, etc. As such, there isn't really such a thing as a "NVMe slot" specifically. M.2 just happens to be the most popular form factor/connector for consumer NVMe SSDs. But you could eventually use a PCIe 5.0 AIC SSD with Alder Lake, or use a PCIe 5.0 AIC to M.2 adapter like the one MSI is already working on (as larkspur linked above). https://www.tomshardware.com/news/msi-gen-5-nvme-card-adapter-for-z690-alder-lake
 
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